Herndon, VA – Affordable sport-utility luxury just got a little sportier. The 2014 Volkswagen Touareg offers advanced, fuel-saving technologies, a premium driving experience, and now, a dynamic new R-Line trim.
The 2014 Touareg model range features both the world’s first supercharged gasoline hybrid and a TDI® Clean Diesel model. The Hybrid packs the punch of a V8 with the fuel efficiency of a V6—and, at speeds up to 31 mph, the low emissions of an electric car—while the TDI model has EPA estimated fuel economy of 29 mpg on the highway, with a range of more than 700 miles on each tank of ultra-low-sulfur diesel.
New for 2014 and 2015
For 2014, the most significant addition to the Touareg family is the performance-inspired R-Line, which adds a host of dynamic and sporty features—including a sport-tuned suspension—to the long list of standard equipment already offered on the Touareg Lux trim. The R-Line trim is available with either the 3.6-liter VR6 gasoline or 3.0-liter V6 TDI Clean Diesel engines.
The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg base model has been slightly adjusted, but not to get rid of your favorite luxury features the VW SUV is known to have. The mechanics are the same as the last update in 2011 and for 2015, Volkswagen slightly redesigning the front end, with a new four-bar grille and a chrome band for the lower fascia. The hatch has also been reshaped and there are new wheel designs. Safety has also been enhanced for the 2015 Touareg, with the addition of blind-spot monitors, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise; the radar system also includes front assist with city emergency braking and there’s an automatic post-collision braking function. The Touareg continues to score well in IIHS testing, although it still hasn’t been crashed by the NHTSA.
Executive and Hybrid trims now offer two new features that owners may find particularly useful. The first is a hands-free easy-open trunk feature, which opens the liftgate with a swipe of a foot under the rear bumper and keys in pocket. The second is the available Area View 360° exterior camera system. This camera doesn’t just show what’s behind the Touareg, it also shows what’s in front and on the sides as well, thanks to four individual cameras mounted on the car. It also offers a birds-eye view of the vehicle from above and a cross-traffic function to help alert the driver to traffic they may not see.
The Touareg’s exterior sports a crisp, sleek, aerodynamic look based on the Volkswagen Design DNA. This includes the horizontal front-end theme you see in the latest Golf, Jetta, Eos and Passat models, as well the Touareg’s smaller sibling, the Tiguan.
Key design elements include a grille featuring twin chrome-faced strips that connect seamlessly to trapezoidal headlight housings. These feature a dramatic U-shaped ring of bright-white LED Daytime Running Lights along with Bi-Xenon high intensity gas-discharge headlights.
The horizontal theme continues in the sleek, body-colored front bumper with its large, U-shaped, chrome-ringed air intake and large side intakes. The hood features a bold raised section that runs from the grille back to the windscreen A-pillars, adding to the strong, muscular, front-end face.
At the back, the Touareg is defined with pronounced curves around the hatch area, distinctive “L-Design” taillights, and a blacked-out lower rear spoiler with a set of stunning, triangular-shaped chrome exhaust tips.
Differentiating itself from other trims, the Touareg R-Line adds an aggressive exterior appearance distinguished by unique front bumper fascia, side skirts, R-Line badges, LED taillights, and oval-shaped dual exhaust tips at the rear.
Thanks to the Touareg’s lower body height, short overhangs, and clean, simple surfaces, the car doesn’t appear excessively large. Contributing to the seemingly smaller size are features like a broad, full-length chrome side-strip at the base of the doors, black-painted side window frames, and large wheels.
Ignore the rugged, mud-plugging SUV image; the 2014 Touareg is all about luxury. Witness the optional “Vienna” leather seating surfaces in Black Anthracite, Cornsilk Beige, or Saddle Brown. Or the elegant Walnut wood accents. And the available 620-watt, 10-speaker sound system from Danish audio specialists Dynaudio®. It has never been so comfortable conquering the wilderness or maneuvering through busy city streets.
For those choosing the sporty R-Line trim, an interior with unique high-gloss black and brushed aluminum trim on the dashboard, center console and doors awaits them. R-Line scuffplates, aluminum sport pedals, and an R-Line steering wheel round out this trim’s unique look.
Stretching the wheelbase on this second-generation SUV has also made it easier to stretch out in the back. There’s an extra 2.7 inches of knee room: with a 40/20/40-split rear seat that can slide forward or back by 6.3 inches, as well as recline, it’s the perfect vehicle for relaxing on a road trip.
In addition to being able to carry five in comfort, the 2014 Touareg can also carry all their luggage. Press a button on the remote key fob to release the power-lifting tailgate and there is space behind the seats to swallow more than 32 cubic feet of cargo. Need more space? The seatback is split 40/20/40 with each section folding to offer an array of load-carrying possibilities. And with all sections folded, the Touareg can carry an impressive 64 cubic feet of luggage.
To let the sun shine in, the 2014 Touareg offers an available expansive panoramic glass sunroof. Measuring 57 inches long and 39 inches wide, it’s a full 350 percent larger than the sunroof in the previous model. It is so big that this tilt/slide roof occupies almost the entire roof area above the occupants, thus conveying a unique feeling of open space. The panoramic sunroof is standard in the Lux and Executive models, as well as the Touareg Hybrid.
Mounted in the center of the fascia is either Volkswagen’s RCD 550 sound system or the available premium RNS 850 touchscreen navigation system. The 850 features a crystal-clear eight-inch screen, with a DVD/CD player that has MP3 playback capabilities and satellite/FM/AM stereo. A unique feature of the unit’s navigation system is that it can display maps and directions in a high-definition 3D view. To store music, the system features a 60GB hard drive with 18GB of space available to upload media. Located in the glovebox is access for an iPod® device or auxiliary input, SD cards, and a DVD drive.
For true audiophiles—or those who like to play their music just plain loud—there’s an available 620-watt Dynaudio® sound system with 10 premium speakers (four tweeters, two midrange, four woofers) and DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology.
Engines and Transmissions
The 2014 Touareg offers a choice of three highly-advanced powertrains that each offer unique driving characteristics.
The 3.6-liter VR6® FSI® gasoline engine is one of the most powerful that Volkswagen builds. With double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing and direct fuel injection, it produces 280 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Exceptionally quiet and refined, it delivers impressive off-the-line acceleration, strong mid-range response for better passing, and relaxed cruising. Coupled with the eight-speed automatic transmission that’s standard on all 2014 Touareg models, the VR6 has EPA estimated fuel economy of 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine in the TDI® Clean Diesel model has an engine block that is constructed from compacted graphite iron (CGI). This material matches conventional cast iron for strength but allows for a significant reduction in mass to the tune of 55 pounds compared with the previous V6 TDI unit. The engine now produces 240 horsepower and delivers a mighty 406 lb-ft of torque from just 2000 rpm. It also delivers an EPA estimated 29 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in city driving.
To achieve its 50 state emissions qualification, a deNOx catalytic converter, augmented by a special injection system that sprays AdBlue® into the exhaust, helps reduce NOx emissions by up to 90 percent. This lets the engine meet the ULEV/Tier 2, BIN 5 standards imposed across all 50 U.S. states.
Like the Touareg VR6, the TDI Clean Diesel model comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This transmission configures seventh and eighth gears as fuel-efficient overdrives: top gear reduces engine revs by 33 percent over sixth gear. (The car’s maximum speed is reached in sixth gear.) In addition to offering significant fuel economy benefits, it makes for quieter, more relaxed highway cruising.
The transmission also features manual gear control along with Sport mode and a Dynamic Shift Program (DSP) that adapts to the driver’s individual style and adjusts the shift points accordingly.
The 2014 Touareg Hybrid pairs a 3.0-liter 333-horsepower supercharged, direct-injection V6 gasoline engine with a 47-horsepower electric motor.
The electric motor gets its energy from a nickel metal-hydride battery pack fitted beneath the luggage compartment. The 288-volt pack consists of 240 individual cells and offers an energy density of 1.7kWh.
Both systems are capable of running independently, or together. When combined they produce a total of 380 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque, thus offering drivers the power of a V8 with the fuel economy of a V6.
One of the real benefits of the hybrid powertrain is its astonishing off-the-line acceleration when gasoline and electric power combine to deliver that 428 lb-ft of torque. If hard acceleration isn’t called for, the Touareg Hybrid can cruise up to 31 mph on pure electric power.
The Touareg Hybrid also uses a host of innovative new technologies to help it achieve its EPA estimated 24 mpg during highway driving. For example, when the driver releases the gas pedal at cruising speeds, the engine will shut off and a special clutch disengages the transmission from the engine, allowing the car to “coast” along, practically emissions-free.
Regenerative braking also allows the electric motor to recover kinetic energy during coasting and braking, to help recharge the battery pack. And, in another first for the Touareg Hybrid, there’s a standard Stop-Start system, which automatically stops the engine during idling while, for instance, waiting at a red light. When the brake is released, the engine re-starts.
For this second-generation Touareg, Volkswagen engineers further developed its all-independent suspension. The basic layout, however, remains the same, with control arms at the front and rear. To save weight, the upper links are made from lightweight aluminum-alloy with the robust lower links made from steel. Long-travel steel coil springs are used at each wheel. The Touareg R-Line’s sport suspension offers stiffer damping parameters that help provide a sportier ride and better cornering.
4MOTION® permanent all-wheel drive is standard on all 2014 Touareg trim lines. The system features a rear limited-slip Torsen® differential that splits the available torque 40 percent front and 60 percent rear for balanced on and off-road driving. Variable-ratio power steering gives a precise, responsive feel to the Touareg’s helm, requiring 2.6 turns to go from lock to lock.
Wheel choices are dependent on each individual Touareg model. The Sport comes standard with the 10-spoke 18-inch “Karakum” wheel fitted with 255/55 R18 all-season tires. The Lux and Hybrid feature 19-inch, five-spoke “Everest” rims with 265/50 R19 tires. The R-Line features 20-inch “Mallory” wheels with 275/45 R20 tires, while the Executive model has 20-inch “Pikes Peak” wheels with 275/45 R20 tires.
Safety and Security
The 2014 Touareg offers an impressive number of standard active and passive safety features to help keep driver and passengers safe.
Passive safety features include six airbags, including Side Curtain Protection® head airbags for the front and rear outboard occupants, and front and thorax units for the driver and front passenger.
The line-up of active systems include an advanced Rollover Sensor System that monitors the vehicle’s turning angle and speed, which can help detect a possible rollover situation. If it determines a rollover hazard is present, it deploys the side curtain airbags to help reduce the risk of injury.
There’s also Brake Disc Wiping to help keep the pads dry to optimize braking when it’s raining and Volkswagen’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.
The Touareg features Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that automatically unlocks all the doors, disables the fuel pump, and turns on the hazard lights in the event of certain types of collision.
Finally there’s the peace of mind of Volkswagen’s no-charge Carefree Maintenance® Program. Scheduled maintenance is covered for two years, or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
Priced from $43,995, the Sport features 4MOTION® all-wheel drive; eight-speed automatic transmission; 18-inch “Karakum” aluminum-alloy wheels; chrome rectangular tail pipes; silver roof rails; power adjustable exterior side mirrors; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights; front fog- and cornering lights; Bluetooth® technology; SiriusXM® satellite radio; Climatronic® dual-zone air conditioning; touchscreen radio with eight-speaker sound system, six-disc CD changer, MDI with iPod® cable; eight-way powered and heated front seats with V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with manually adjustable steering column; 40/20/40-split rear seat; leather-wrapped shift knob; four 12-volt power outlets and one 115-volt outlet; remote opening and closing power tailgate with closing assist; power locks; cruise control; Homelink®; silver metallic interior trim inlays; black high-gloss center console; tire pressure monitoring system; LED license plate illumination.
Sport with Navigation
Starting at $47,535 ($51,035 for the TDI Clean Diesel model), this adds Keyless access with push-button start; trailer hitch; easy-open hands-free trunk; the sophisticated RNS 850 navigation system with an eight-inch color touchscreen, 60GB hard drive, four-year subscription to SiriusXM Traffic™; rearview camera.
Priced from $51,475 ($54,975 for the TDI model), this adds: 19-inch “Everest” aluminum-alloy wheels; panoramic powered sunroof; heated power-adjustable exterior side mirrors with memory; walnut interior inlays; wood center console; “Vienna” leather seating surfaces; 12-way power front seats with driver seat memory and power adjustable lumbar; electronic rear seat release switches in trunk.
With an MSRP of $54,115 ($57,615 for the TDI model), this adds (with exception of tow package and easy-open trunk feature): 20-inch “Mallory” wheels; a sport-tuned suspension; unique front bumper fascia; side skirts; R-Line badges; LED taillights; oval-shaped exhaust tips; high-gloss black and brushed aluminum trim on dashboard, center console and doors; R-Line scuffplates; aluminum sport pedals; R-Line steering wheel.
Starting at $57,360 ($60,860 for the TDI model), this builds on the features found in the Lux trim and adds: 20-inch “Pikes Peak” aluminum-alloy wheels; Area View 360° exterior camera system; heated multifunction steering wheel; heated front and rear seats; Keyless access with push-button start; Park Distance Control; Dynaudio® premium sound system; trailer hitch; and LED license plate illumination.
With an MSRP of $64,170, it features, in addition to the Sport with Navigation specifications: 19-inch “Girona” aluminum-alloy wheels; Area View 360° exterior camera system; panoramic sunroof; heated power-adjustable exterior side mirrors with memory; Keyless access with push-button start; Park Distance Control; “Vavona” interior inlays; wood center console; “Vienna” leather seating surfaces; heated front and rear seats; leather-wrapped heated multifunction steering wheel; power adjustable steering column with memory; 12-way power front seats with driver and passenger memory; power adjustable lumbar support; metal scuff plates on door sills; aluminum pedal covers; trailer hitch; and LED license plate illumination. This model is available only in very limited quantities. .
VW Touareg TDI test drive courtesy CarPro